ECHDC Board Authorizes Contracts to Bring World Canals Conference to Canalside and Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Erie Canal’s Opening

June 6, 2022

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today met and authorized two contracts that will assist ECHDC in the planning and management of the 2025 World Canals Conference (WCC 2025) at Canalside and the bicentennial of the opening of the Erie Canal, also happening in 2025.  Governor Kathy Hochul previously announced that New York State has been selected by Inland Waterways International as the host of WCC 2025, which brings together hundreds of canal and inland waterway enthusiasts, professionals and scholars from around the world to learn about a variety of topics related to canals. WCC 2025 will coincide with New York State’s 200th anniversary commemoration of the Erie Canal opening in Buffalo in 1825.

“The 200th Anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal is a significant opportunity for Canalside to highlight and celebrate the progress New York State and ECHDC have made along the Buffalo waterfront,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia.  “We are excited to begin the planning process to implement a summerlong celebration in 2025 that will bring people from around the world to Buffalo.” 

The ECHDC Board authorized ECHDC to enter into a contract not to exceed $250,000 with Erie Canalway Heritage Fund, Inc. for management services related to WCC 2025.  The fund will be responsible for the overall conference planning and implementation, including: managing all committees; planning the conference themes and content; planning the event (venues, tours, itineraries); outreach and marketing; and financial coordination and management. The Erie Canalway Heritage Fund was previously the managing partner for the successful WCC 2017 held in Syracuse. 

The ECHDC Board also authorized ECHDC to enter into a contract not to exceed $250,000 with BMC Consulting for consulting services relating to visitor experience planning for the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal opening.  It will provide services, including: brand development; conceptual layout plan of the site; vendor procurement assistance; and attendance at meetings of the American Association of State & Local History, among other meetings.

Funding for both these contracts is from the New York Power Authority, through relicensing agreements tied to the operation of the Niagara Power Project. 

The ECHDC Board of Directors also approved two other items:

  • Authorization of a contract amendment with Turner Construction Company for construction management services related to the Outer Harbor. The next round of Phase 1 components will be issued for bid proposals and monitored during construction by the consultant. The added amount for the scope of work will not exceed $925,000, for a total amended contract amount of $1,550,400 including contingency. Funding for this contract is from the New York Power Authority, through relicensing agreements tied to the operation of the Niagara Power Project. 
  • Adoption of revised guidelines for the use, awarding, monitoring and reporting of procurement contracts.

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two non-voting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor.

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor that is attracting critical mass, private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and tourists in Western New York. Its vision is to revitalize Western New York’s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region’s legacy of pride, urban significance, and natural beauty.

 

Contact:
Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309
Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239